Sunday, February 12th 2012, 6:08 AM EST
Fifteen years is a hell of long time to have to listen to ever more hysterical pronouncements that the end of the world is nigh -- all without that predicted disaster happening to even the most minimal degree. And yet, according to a report released recently by the U.K. Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, nothing at all is exactly what has happened. These putative climate authorities' data, accumulated from more than 30,000 research stations, shows that the world's temperature has not risen for a decade and a half. The revelation, as one would expect, headlined news across the world.
The problem with this latest report, of course, is that it is in no way revelatory all. Oh, sure, it extends by half again the amount of time that the globe has refused to conform to predictions of behavior made by those who have assured us that they are experts. But so what of it?
It didn't exactly matter when the fundamental claims of Al Gore's fiction An Inconvenient Truth were shown to be false. Rises in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have not driven historic global temperature increases as claimed; rather, temperature actually increased first. And as for that infamous hockey stick, the one that showed temperature increases neatly correlating with industrial development? Well, there's a reason why you don't hear about that anymore.
Nor did it matter when polar bears defied predictions and, instead of going the way of the Dodo, happily increased their numbers.
It didn't matter that historically it has been much warmer, but with CO2 levels much lower, than present averages, nor that during these warmer times, mankind has positively flourished. And it certainly wasn't relevant to the discussion that the amount of energy a country consumed per capita corresponded directly to the liberty and prosperity its citizens enjoyed.
In fact, the number of things which absolutely do not matter according to those who, by their own words, are in the business of not only saving mankind, but refashioning all of society into a centrally controlled utopia in the process makes for quite a large laundry list indeed.
But how is it exactly that we have arrived at such a place, where the supposed coldly impersonal scientific process has become so effusively riddled with ideology, egotism, and greed?
After all, such corrupting influences are not exactly new, the temptation to sin being as old as the sin itself. Yet never before has the infection been so virulent. So what has changed? Two things:
One - the sheer proliferation of information. Never before in mankind's history has such a wealth of knowledge been so accessible to such vast numbers of people. This circumstance not only allows for tremendous ease in the sharing of ideas, but also multiplies the stakes massively if one of those ideas finds popularity and the rewards start to flow. That such fame, wealth, and adulation can provide powerful motivations for the abandonment of moral and intellectual integrity is easy to see. But that is only the first part of the problem.
Two - how we have come to view scientists in our society. The world changes before our eyes, with new discoveries announced seemingly daily. Truly, it is correct, then, to honor the creativity and the intellect which have carried mankind forward to this stage. But as we do, we must be careful not to give such weight to that honoring as to make it veneration.
Today, many scientists, it seems, are all too quick to view their lab coats as vestments which not only confer to them a piety of purpose, but also lend an unquestionable divinity to their interpretation of scientific scripture. And yet, in this behavior, are they not just playing the role that we as a society have cast them in?
All too often in much of the fraud that is global warming science, the finger is pointed at the Pavlovian response of leftist ideologues -- who, salivating before an idea which would give scientific mandate to their desire to fashion the world to their whim, do all that they can to perpetuate the catastrophic anthropogenic warming theory. And yet, their behavior, though contemptible, is no different from what they exhibited during their championing of eugenics in the first half of the 20th century. Nor would it be nearly so effective were it not for the modern state of science that all of us, left and right, have fashioned.
In the end, nations are not so different from the people that populate them. In that, it behooves each to examine closely what it is he has chosen to worship. Sometimes, the answers to be found under such scrutiny are uncomfortable. And the temptation to turn and run to the multitude of voices and distractions the modern age affords us can be great. But if we are steadfast -- if we instead commit ourselves to walk in the quiet for a period of time -- we might be surprised by exactly whom we choose to worship.